14 August 2001
Ladies and Gentlemen! It is an occasion of immense pleasure for me today that I am addressing all the District Nazims, Naib Nazims and DCOs. As Mr. Laeeq Ahmed has already said that this day today is of great importance and is historic because first of all it is the fifty fifth Independence Day and it is specially being celebrated as the Year of the Quaid. The promises which me and my government had made on March 23, 2000 of installing local governments at district level by August, 14, 2001 have been fulfilled exactly today.
First of all I congratulate all those Nazims and Naib Nazims who have been elected from their respective districts and are present here today. I would also like to congratulate all the Union and Tehsil Councilors who have been elected, in the Local Government election but are not present here today. I specially congratulate the ladies who have become Councilors Nazims and Naib Nazims. I also congratulate all the peasants, workers and laborers because it is for the fist time in the history of Pakistan that they have been given the power to participate in the political decision-making at the local government level. I also congratulate all the DCOs who have specially been selected because they are the first DCOs of this historic new system and the change is being brought about through them.
I would like to congratulate the entire team of National Reconstruction Bureau who worked extra hard to make this day a reality and introduced this new Local Government system in Pakistan. The importance of this day in my view is that I see it as a new ray of hope, the beginning of a new era, of moving forward and of forgetting the past. I am convinced that from today onwards Pakistan Insha’ Allah will move forward towards development and progress. I must tell you that Pakistan is a nuclear power consisting of 140 million people.
It cannot be ignored and sidelined unless we ourselves let our respect and prestige be lost, nobody from outside can alienate us. However I regret to say that instead of being known as a dynamic progressive and economically vibrant state in the world, we are at the moment struggling to fight being declared as a failed and terrorist state, We are fighting against lawlessness and we are trying to bring internal and external investment in the country, I feel sorry over this. Why we have done this to ourselves.
Is this a punishment from God that we are in this state of affairs? We have look at ourselves in the mirror and search into our souls. What is more regrettable is that we have everything in our country but despite this we have always failed. We, like termite, are making ourselves hollow from inside. As I said in my speech delivered this morning we have no fear of outside powers. We are eating up ourselves from inside. What is it that God has not given us? I have always been telling you this and I repeat it again.
We have five rivers and abundance of water which is far more than our agriculture and power needs. Today we have 15000 Megawatt installed capacity of electricity while our potential to produce hydro power is 40,000 Megawatt. But we have not taken any advantage of this. The provinces are fighting with each other over irrigation water. There was drought because we had no capacity for storage of water, because we have been fighting with each other for the past ten to fifteen years over KalaBagh Dam.
The cheapest form of electricity is hydroelectricity and we possessed sixty per cent of it. It has been reduced to 30 per cent over the last 15 to 20 years. We have switched over to thermal power production which is now double the price which previously was already six per cent higher. The present position is that 70 per 2 cent of our electricity is thermal and only 30 percent is being generated by hydel power.
The water of all our five rivers is going down into the sea. Due to thermal production we are spending one billion dollar on furnace oil. We purchase oil to produce electricity and then we talk of high prices of electricity. In the last two to three years the price of oil has increased from Rs.5500 per ton to Rs. 14,000 per ton. Presently it is about Rs. 12,000 to 13,000 per ton. This has doubled while the cost of electricity remained between Rs. 3.48 per unit to Rs. 3.57 per unit. The increase has been only of 9 paisa. This loss is being borne by the government of Pakistan, and WAPDA. Why did we do this?
For your information I would like to tell you that the one cent per unit difference of electricity being provided by Hubco will sum up to $ 3 billion by its maturity life. You must be knowing this because during these years we were installing thermal power. Who is suffering the loss? Again Pakistan and the people of Pakistan who are paying more for thermal power. Now we are going to increase our water reservoirs and produce hydro power so that we change the existing percentage of 70 per cent and 30 per cent and bring improvement in our country.
We have fertile land and five seasons, summer, winter, monsoon, spring and autumn. There are very few countries which have all the five seasons. We have abundance of water, plenty of crops, fruits and vegetables but due to lack of irrigation water we cannot make full use of their production. Our export is at the lowest level. The world is exporting these items. We have the best of these but our export is negligible because of low production.
We import wheat, edible oil and tea. Now we are trying to bring more area under cultivation, make more canals, so that larger number of area can get water. The storage capacity of water is being increased so that water is available even during drought; dams have plenty of water so that we increase our exports and reduce our imports.
We have a very large coastline. It has the best fish but it is sad that our export is less then $100 million while the world, smaller countries, those smaller than us are earning billions of dollars by export of fish. It is sad that outsiders come, catch our fish and make money while we are just sitting. Now we are trying to improve the technique of catching fish and introduce a system through which we can make the maximum use of our coastline product.
Just review the natural resources. We meet 20 per cent requirement of oil. I have noticed that in about the past 50 years we have dug up just 1200 oil wells while Canada digs up 14000 wells in one year: We have not made efforts to increase the production, despite this that God has given us oil and we have reservoirs in abundance. Not enough efforts are being put in to dig them.
We have plenty of natural gas but it is again sad to say that we gave it on very low prices to domestic consumers, lower than the wood prices and wasted it. It was not given to the industry so that the cost of industrial activity reduces and exports increase. Now we are trying to rectify this situation. Coal. All our coal miners are in deplorable condition.
We have Thar coal in Sindh which is the largest coal reserve in the world. It is 180 billion metric tons. No use has been made of this because we have differences with each other. In China 70 per cent of electricity is being produced by coal. Its quality is very good. In Pakistan only one per cent electricity is being produced by coal while we have the largest coal deposits. If we had switched over our cement plants to coal, somebody was telling me that one bag of Cement would cost 125 to 150 rupees but we did not do this.
Now we will use coal for electricity production, switch over the cement plants to coal so that the cost comes down and the coal miners whose figure runs into thousands get some benefit. Copper. Take Copper. Saindak was lying closed and in deplorable condition. Now we are reviving it with the assistance of China. If you work hard and with sincerity then the rewards are in plenty.
Another find of copper has been discovered at a distance of about 50 km from Saindak which is much larger. We are going to make use of that also. We have local gemstones and precious stones. These are smuggled across the border in crude 3 form on very low prices. Outside, after cuffing and polishing they are sold at ten time’s higher prices. We made no efforts to learn to cut and polish them and make money for our own country and people. Now we are calling experts from Thailand who will teach us the techniques of cutting and polishing.
Our country is the most beautiful. Our coastline is marvelous. Our mountains are the tallest and the most beautiful in the world but it is sad that our tourism is nil. Now we are making an infrastructure for their development. Three roads are being constructed in the mountains for opening them up. Coastal Highway is being constructed at a very fast speed so that tourism can be developed. We have human resource in information technology.
You must know that our capability and infrastructure is better than India but sadly our income from information technology is only 15 to 20 million dollars while in India it is going up to $ 4 to 5 billion. We have to improve this sector also. We have the best of human resource in every field. We have brains. We are far ahead than others in the world. But despite all these facts which I have told you what is our status, where do we stand? Debt trap. We are under the burden of heavy debt.
The government system is politicized and inefficient. All public sector departments are running in loss. We are trying to revive them. Education. It is of poor quality and is or was deteriorating. We had a human resource edge which included engineers, doctors, and scientists. If God forbid this situation continues it will become a part of history. We will improve this also. Rampant corruption: This has been finished at the higher level. We are pleased that the loss of millions and billions of rupees which was being caused to the country by its leaders has now been finished.
Internal disunity and disharmony: This was eating us up like termite. As I said earlier we have no external threats. We have internal problems. I face no fear to handle the internal threats. This situation has demoralized the people of Pakistan. We have lost our pride and selfconfidence. We take pessimistic view of everything. A defeated view as if we are not capable of doing anything, nothing can be done. This has got deep-rooted in our minds and we have lost self-confidence. There is a saying in English that: ‘If there is a half full glass you can call it half full or half empty’. But we always see it half empty and not half full. Because our morale has gone down. We have become pessimistic and our confidence has been shaken. Why is this situation like? Why are we not at the top? Why are not we a rising tiger like other South East Asian states which are developing fast. Why are not we making a forward move like them while we possess all the capabilities which I have been telling you after spending so much time? Why are not we making progress? What is the deformity? The deformity is lack of personal qualities and character, honesty, dedication, commitment, merit orientation, contentment, not happy with our circumstances and patriotism.
Patriotism does not come by singing songs and fluttering flags and other such activities. There should be a passion in the heart which creates patriotism. What I have talked about so far are things of the past. I would say that this was a dark chapter of our history which has passed. Leave it behind and forget about it. 1always say that learn lesson from history and not live in it.
Look ahead especially when your past is not good. Forget about it and move forward, we need to learn from history and judge our failures and look at the light at the end of tunnel. We have not lost everything. By the grace of God our country is existing, the people are dedicated and we have abundance of resources and opportunities. We have delayed things and are left far behind, but If we follow a right path, and God is with us and definitely when we are on the righteous way and God will help us and Insha-Allah we will rise and move forward, it is my belief that Pakistan has risen and its people have risen.
Today we are at a watershed. Leave the past and make an effort to move forward. This is the last chance we have either to make Pakistan or destroy it. We will not let 4 Pakistan be destroyed, we will develop it, make it move forward and preserve it for the coming generations. In this task we are all together and if we fail the future generations will not forgive us.
Let us make, a new commitment on this auspicious day leaving the past behind and join hands to give a fresh start a new era of light to the county. New era in the field of politics, economy, poverty alleviation, 1aw and order, and development, self-confidence has to be restored and we have to generate fresh energy in ourselves. By introducing the new political culture today we are getting rid of the old colonial legacy. Today we are transferring power from bureaucracy to the people, we are empowering the people. We are taking the Government down to the people at grassroots level so that they don’t run from pillar to post at the provincial and central level for taking decisions on their applications. Their problems will now be solved at the District or Tehsil level.
We are separating the judiciary from the executive and taking speedy justice at the doorsteps of the people and are ensuring better performance and accountability of the police. When I say that I am empowering the people and transferring power to the grassroots level then what does it mean. First of all, administrative powers, those are being given in the hands of you the elected Nazims. There will be DCOs to assist you and coordinate between the 12 or 13 existing government departments while remaining under your control and supervision.
I would like to point out here, since the DCOs are sifting that there are some misconceptions that me and my Government are against the DMG and we are abolishing them. This is totally wrong. Please understand it very clearly. DMG will remain; your promotion from G-17 to G-22 will remain. We have chalked out an infrastructure which will be made known to you. I will come to the provinces and talk to you about it. I have also asked the respective governors to explain it to you. You should understand that a new Local Government system is being introduced and when this system is for the betterment of the country, and if some people are being affected by this change, this is minor issue. I do not give any importance to this because the interest of the country is more important.
So I want to tell all DMGs that your career progression will stay. Your responsibility has increased immensely. You can serve Pakistan better by working in the districts and your career progression goes up to the secretary level. You should not be worried. Only some change is coming in your responsibility and you should accept it for the betterment of Pakistan. Now the second part of empowerment, meaning financial responsibility. Like the existing National Financial Award, Provincial Financial Award will be created on the same lines through which funds will be allocated to the districts who will identify the development projects and their places from their Tehsil and Union level, make plans according to the priorities and take action. This involves both administrative and financial authority.
I would like to say something about the judiciary. The district magistracy and executive magistracy have been abolished because the executive and judiciary have been separated. Apart from this, we will establish courts for handling small offenses and minor crimes which will be replacing administrative magistracy. And we hope that the continuity of court system will be sustained through session courts, High Court, Supreme Court that will be free from administrative interference. In addition to this, a conciliatory court, that we have termed ‘Conciliatory Anjuman’ is also being formulated so that the people may get justice before litigation and the burden on the courts is eased.
We want to improve the condition of police. First of all, police has three responsibilities, maintenance of law and order, investigation and prosecution. They are being separated. A new prosecution service, which will be a provincial service, is being established. Therefore, prosecution will go to the provinces and chances of its improvement, are expected; similarly, the investigative and law and order police will be separate. We are also making concerted 5 efforts to improve the investigative system. In addition to that, we are establishing public safety commissions at federal, provincial and district level, entrusted with the dual responsibility of keeping an eye on police and saving it from being politicized. Moreover, there will be police complaint authority. And we are trying to improve the performance of police and also bring an improvement in their resources. Now all these things are related to your power.
I would like to say that people, provincial governments, and the federal government have pinned their hopes on District Nazims, Naib District Nazims, Union Nazims and Union Naib Nazims. What are these hopes? Firstly, we hope that you will bring a new light and a new political culture. The world has set its eyes on you. This new culture is the one, you should be cognizant of that, it is not matter of assuming power. It is a matter of serving the people.
Therefore, you should bear this in mind that you have been elected to serve the people and not for exercising power and authority on them. You have been given the governance for serving the people, serving the masses. Secondly, I would like to talk about corruption. In the past the system was corrupt. There was corruption in Pakistan’s leadership. It was because of this that corruption was also there at the lowest level. Now in this new system we should be corruption free. At the top level, at the national level as I have said, there is no corruption. Therefore, I am hopeful that you will, at the district level, set a high example of honesty so that the corruption that was rampant from top to lower level, on account of which billions of rupees were being wasted and no development project Was being implemented, and I would say that Pakistan had become a graveyard of development projects, this should end and the money should be spent for the development of-Pakistan
Therefore; I have harbored hopes that the new system based on honesty will be ushered in by you I am quite confident that you will introduce a new moral working code which will be merit oriented. The nation that does not reward an individual for his ability and efficiency, how can that nation make progress? That nation loses its credibility. If a person is capable and his capability is not being recognized, he will be disheartened and he will think in terms of going abroad and shall make efforts in this regard.
Therefore, priority should be on the capability, honesty, efficiency and diligence. This should be the new moral code for work. In addition to this, to look after the poor is our responsibility as a nation and now you people, who have become Nazims, this is your responsibility. In this country, to be poor is a curse; I say this from previous experience. During the martial law, days when people were sentenced to flogging, was any affluent or influential person flogged? The poor were apprehended and flogged. I had just been to the Kushhali Bank where I met an old man. I talked to him. He was granted a loan of 25-30 thousand rupees. I asked him about the condition in his area. He said there are lots of bandits who beat us and loot us. When we go to the police they beat us and loot us, as well. We are caught between police and the bandits.
What kind of Islamic system is it? Is this our system? You can change it and should change it. Take care of the poor; this is what Islam teaches us. The people having ample resources should give some to the poor so that he benefits from it. Our religion teaches us this. I hope that you will take care of the poor, specially the poor masses. In Pakistan for every one from top to the lowest level, there will be a system of checks and balances. If anyone is under the impression that the old days• of loot and plunder have caine back, they are mistaken.
The days of loot and plunder are over. We would not let it happen. I am quite optimistic that for the sake of Pakistan and the coming generations, we will not fail, Insha-Allah Now benefiting from the occasion, I would give you the road map for the future elected government. According to the Supreme Court’s decision the elections will, be held by 12th October, 2002, the road map for it, which the world and the entire Pakistani nation is asking for, I am announcing it today.
The details of it will be published in the newspapers, later. I would like to give an outline of it. In short, there will be four phases for transfer of power. The first phase was of transfer of power at district level. It started from 23rd March, 2000 and with 6 the grace of God has been completed today on 4 August, and from today all district governments have been established. The second phase starts from 1st September 2001 and will, continue till June, 2002.
In these nine months preparations will be made for Provincial, National and Senate elections during which delimitation of constituencies, preparation of electoral list, preparation of national identity cards and constitutional amendments will be adopted after discussions, and debates on public level and with national consensus. This will take approximately nine months. Third phase will be from 1st July to 12th October 2002. All preparations for the Provincial, National and Senate elections will be made in these three months. And elections will be held some time between 1st to 11th October. Then there will be the fourth phase which will be in October — November 2002 in which complete transfer of power, election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker will take place, oath taking ceremony will be held and federal and provincial governments will be formed. So these are the four phases, the details of which will be in the newspapers.
Now I come toward the beginning of a new economic era. This is very important. This is the vital part of our national development. What was our economic strategy? The important part of it was that we should start development projects for the fulfillment of three objectives economic development, growth of our GDP, restoration of economy, generate employment, provide more jobs and for alleviating poverty.
For this we have prepared a 10 years development plan, and the first three years have a yearly plan, initially and then there is a plan for the remaining seven years for which we have allocated funds. The development projects are of national significance. In it, the short term projects will be completed within five years, as a matter of fact, from 3 to 5 years. They will start with immediate effect.
I will inaugurate these from 15th to 21st August. And those for which we don’t have feasibility reports, those projects will start from 12th October, 25th December, or at the most from 23rd March, 2002 and these will be completed from 4 to 5 years. We have reserved funds for these. Insha-Allah they will start in due time. There won’t be paucity of funds and they will be completed. And what are these let me apprise you about them.
The projects that I am inaugurating from to 215t August are as follows:
1. Gomalzam Dam.
2. Meerani Dam.
3. Greater ThaI Canal.
4. Right Bank out Fall Drainage Project.
5. Coastal Highway which will start from Gwadar.
6. Chashma Right Bank Canal. (This has been completed).
7. Quetta Water Project which is in progress and it will be speeded up.
8. Commencement of Highway project from Turbat to Mand.
9. Planned construction of three roads in Northern Areas. In addition, those projects for which feasibility reports are being prepared will be completed Insha-Allah this year.
Some remaining projects will start by 23rd March, 2002. These are
I. Kacchi Canal (Balochistan).
2. Rainy Canal (Sindh).
3. Raising Mangla Dam by 40 ft.
4. 100 MGD Water project for Karachi.
5. Northern by pass.
6. Liyari Express way.
7. The Motorway project M-3 that was stopped, its work will start again, and M-4 as well.
8. Gwadar-Turbat road for communication between Turbat and Mand. This is a far flung area of Balochistan; it will open up and be linked with the Karachi market.
We are also starting Gwadar port in collaboration with China for which an agreement has already been signed. And lastly, Thar coal power project, which will be revived again in collaboration with China, where a power plant with 3000 Mega Watt capacity can be installed. But in the first phase we will install a 400-500 Mega Watt power plant.
I am inaugurating these projects with immediate effect and 11 to 12 other projects will also start by 23rd March. More than a million people will 7 get employment on account of these projects. This will give tremendous boost to the industrial sector inclusive of cement, steel, bricks or any other industry which can be utilised will get boost and I am sure that Pakistan will be seen moving forward. Now I would like to tell you about our campaign against poverty. I have always emphasized that alleviation of poverty is a phenomenon that is connected with country’s economy. If the country’s economy will improve, poverty will be alleviated; people will be employed and will have money. This is the most important and perhaps the only way and we are doing this. These economic development projects will pave way for employment, economy will flourish, and industries will be established.
Economic activity will start and poor will benefit from it, as I have said, that a million people will be employed which will alleviate poverty. Then we are starting a new strategy for dissemination of Zakat. New zakat committees have been constituted. I know that the zakat system is much better than before. Previous system was not working on right lines. Now this year, we have reserved two billion rupees from the Zakat fund for mustahqeen, and to help them to stand on their feet we will grant them up to 50,000 rupees. This campaign has been given tremendous impetus by the Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Dr. Mahmood Ahmed Ghazi Sahib. Projects have been approved, people have been selected for this and they are poorest of the poor. They will be given up to 50,000, 20,000, 30,000 or 40,000 rupees. We are confident that they will spend the amount on projects which have been identified by us. For example if a person is given 10 to 12 goats in Balochistan, or if he is from the coastal area he will be given a boat so that he can work on his own. If I give you a detailed account of Rs.2000 million break up, then on the average, a person will get about 20,000 rupees, perhaps a little less or a little more, which means as many as one lac families and 500,000 people will benefit from it. In addition, we will be able to give 5000 million rupees each year for the coming three years. I have calculated, from this at least one million families will get 30,000 to 40,000 rupees, or on the average, 20 to 25,000 rupees. Poverty will be alleviated in the real sense by these measures because people at the lower level will get the money, they will stand on their feet and do business. So this was the strategy concerning Zakat. I will request you to see that the Zakat funds which will be given to people through Zakat Committees, are being given to the deserving, and they are using this money properly, their families are benefiting and standing on their feet. In addition, Kushhali Bank is also working which will give loan every year to 100,000 families. Poor people will get loans as these loans are up to Rs. 30,000 which will benefit approximately 100,000 people every year. Kushhal Pakistan Project is functioning which is accommodating approximately 5,000 projects each year and approximately 400,000 to 500,000 people get employment and will continue to get employed.
I am very happy that NAB has recovered money from cooperatives. All those who were affected are getting their money back. We are also planning that those affected by Taj Company should also get their money back. In the end a plan is being worked out to give land to the land less, it will include grant of land in rural areas to those who don’t have land and construction of low cost houses in the urban areas. This campaign will also be for the poor. So this was the new era of poverty alleviation about which I was taking.
Now let’s come to the law and order. Pakistan has become victim to sectarianism and ethnic extremism. Our society has become intolerant. What is sad is that the innocent people who are working for the integrity of Pakistan are being killed. Recently, Shaukat Mirza was assassinated. He was a person who left every thing abroad for the sake of serving Pakistan. He was a capable, patriotic person who joined PS0 as M.D. and started performing efficiently. Pakistan has suffered on account of his death. This situation should not be allowed to continue. We don’t have a magic wand but we have planned to grapple with it. First of all, all those institutions that are related to law and order, specially, the police, we are trying to improve their performance. As I was saying their transport, communication system is being over hauled. I won’t go into the details.
The Ministry of Interior, the Interior Minister and his formulated committees are working on it. I am quite sure that condition of police will improve, specially because of the transfer of power and introduction of the district police system things will improve. The Chief Justice has given instruction to the judiciary that they should pay special attention to the cases concerning terrorism. Hopefully this will bring change. Machinery of sensitive and investigative institutions is being improved. 8 I have also decided to take some immediate steps.
First of all, the anti-terrorism ordinance has been amended. Anti-terrorism ordinance will be implemented from today. This will be a new ordinance.
First thing is that the judiciary will have more powers to deal with terrorism. And those who will perpetrate sectarian and ethnic violence, will be dealt with according to this law. In this way the judiciary shall be made powerful and terrorism, whether sectarian or ethnic will be dealt with strictly. I
n this regard, I have first decided that Lashker-e-Jhangvi and Sepah Muhammadi will be banned from today onwards. In addition, I am warning TJP and SSP that we will observe them and if I find them involved in extremist activities, I shall not hesitate to ban them.
The first phase of deweaponization campaign was ban on display of weapons. I can happily say that this has improved a lot. Every second person in Pakistan is roaming about with a weapon in his hand. What do the outsiders think about us? Do they want to declare us terrorists on account of this? They say that this is a destabilized country, investment is not coming here, there is brutality, every person has a weapon in his hand. Some one is firing in the air, or are killing each other. I am happy that this campaign has gone well. We will further improve it because it has been quite useful.
The second phase is depositing of illegal weapons. It started off well and about 125,000 weapons were deposited, initially. But it has declined to the previous level. We will implement it again and I want to tell you that people will be strictly punished for possessing illegal weapons according to this ordinance. The Police and the Rangers have been instructed to take punitive action against sectarian and ethnic terrorists and those having unlicensed weapons. They have also been instructed that for this purpose they should go and search and if they have suspicion that weapons are hidden inside, they should go in and search the house. Therefore, the campaign to eliminate weapons from the society will be strictly adhered to and punitive action will be initiated against those found guilty of perpetrating sectarian and ethnic extremism. We have talked of law and order, of the political campaign, of a new economic era and alleviation of poverty. In the end, I would like to say that let’s pledge today that we will bring self confidence in ourselves, we will bring prestige within ourselves and Pakistan, and will struggle to take it up ward to new heights of glory. We can work with conviction and will power, we have the potential, and if we make use of it, we can take the country forward in the best way. We can improve our condition; can move towards progress and development. I tell all the people sitting here and those hearing me that celebrate this day as a day of self reliance. Pakistan will move forward and we will all take part in it.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is all that I had to say. I have taken a tot of time, but I thought that this was an historic occasion and day. All district and Naib Nazims, and DCOs have come. All the plans that I have told you today will be discussed at national and provincial levels. It is your duty to implement them at the grass root level. So the basic work is yours to keep liaison with public and implementation of government policies should take place at your level I hope that you will not disappoint the people of Pakistan. I bow my head before God Almighty and pray that he may give us will to work with honesty, dedication, commitment and patriotism for dignity, safety, survival, progress and prosperity of Pakistan. May God bless you all.